October 1, 2013 > Olive Festival and Car Show
Olive Festival and Car Show
By Medha Raman
The olive tree is one of the oldest known cultivated trees in the world Ð grown before written language was even developed. An ancient symbol of abundance, glory, and peace, its longevity rewards many generations of farmers. In mythology, the Goddess Athena brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift, useful for light, heat, food, and medicine. Athena planted the original olive tree on a rocky hill that we know today as the Acropolis. Native to Asia Minor, the olive tree spread to the rest of the Mediterranean basin nearly 6,000 years ago.
Olive farming in California is believed to have started in the late 18th century as the Franciscans marched north, establishing missions in California and planting olive groves. Between 1769 and 1823, olive farming flourished at missions located between San Diego and Sonoma. California now provides almost 200,000 tons of commercial olive crops per year.
Celebrate this historic link between olives and California at FremontÕs Mission San Jose District ÒOlive Festival.Ó Hosted by the Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce, the festival will be held this year on Saturday, October 5 behind the historic Old Mission San Jose Museum in the Dominican SistersÕ beautiful olive grove. The Dominican Sisters pressed olives until the mid-1960s and began harvesting again in 2000 to make and sell olive oil at their annual Christmas Boutique. The ÒOlive FestivalÓ followed in 2001 to celebrate the fruitÕs re-appearance in the community and, despite a brief hiatus, has been an annual event since.
The festival is fun for the whole family, featuring food demonstrations by local chefs, local craft beer, wine tasting, food, live music by local musicians, arts and crafts, entertainment, a kids area with drawing, contests, games, and much, much more. Keeping with the theme of the event, olive growers will be present to offer a wide variety of olives and olive oil for sale. Funds raised from the ÒOlive FestivalÓ will be used for MSJ Chamber activities including the December 1 Tree Lighting Celebration at the Old School Building on Mission Boulevard, the Daffodil project, and other local community endeavors.
A car show will add to the festivities, courtesy of the Mission Trail Mustangs. Mission Trail Mustangs was formed by Mustang and Ford enthusiasts who share a common interest in Ford cars, especially Mustangs of all vintages and other significant Ford Motor company products. Anyone with a Ford Mustang is encouraged to share his or her car at the event.
Admission to the festival is free. Parking is available at Ohlone Lot E for $2 per car. Parking permits can be obtained in lots H, D, C, K, M and P. For more information about the ÒOlive FestivalÓ and car show, visit www.msjchamber.org or contact Kim Mathis at (510) 552-3155.
Saturday, Oct 5
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Behind Historic Mission San Jose
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont
Free admission, Ohlone Parking $2